In 1845, the Franklin Expedition met a tragic ending after becoming trapped in Arctic ice, killing all 129 people on board.

Researchers have now taken DNA from the skeletal remains of several sailors to identify who the lost souls were.

To their surprise, they discovered that four of the crew were women – a finding that goes against previous reports suggesting an all-male trip.


The expedition, consisting of two ships led by British Royal Navy captain Sir John Franklin, aimed to find a sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

But the crew was condemned to an icy death after their two ships got jammed in thick sea ice in the Canadian Arctic in 1846.

The crew’s final message before they were wiped out – sent April 25, 1848 – indicated that the survivors were abandoning their ships.

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